Airbnb CEO Tells us His View on the Sharing Economy

Brian Chesky is not only the CEO of home-share platform Airbnb, but also one of the first to become a billionaire off the shared economy. Last week he discussed his predictions for the Sharing Economy at the Atlantic Aspen Ideas Festival. Considering Chesky's success his bold predictions are worth paying attention to.

He explained that society started on micro-entrepreneurial roots:

"Cities used to be generally villages, and everyone was essentially kind of like an entrepreneur, before there were factories. You were either a farmer, or you worked in the city as a blacksmith, or you had some kind of trade. And then the Industrial Revolution happened." 

Throughout the interview, Chesky makes several predictions about the future of the sharing economy and its impact on society.

Chesky predicts that not only will the industry be able to create upwards of 100 million micro-entrepreneurs, but it will also save us from future recession and robot-worker society. We'll also be living in a world where people can become businesses versus the traditional work-for-the-man archetype. He also predicts that everything will be small with less big chains and outright ownership. "You're not going to have big chain restaurants. We're starting to see you have farmer's markets, and small restaurants, and food trucks. But, soon, restaurants will be in people's living rooms."

While worth the watch, If the 1 hour video is too long for you check out the recap from Venture Beat. Gregory Ferenstein's article "Airbnb CEO Spells Out the End Game For the Sharing Economy in 7 Quotes" breaks down the main points of Chesky's interview.

Let us know what you think. These are pretty bold predictions and the one thing we'd love to hear is a timeline. Is this the future of the Sharing Economy? Will we see it in this lifetime?

Some Setbacks for the Sharing Economy

"Scrutiny of the so-called sharing economy seems to increase every day" and today it's in San Francisco, one of the collaborative economy's model cities.

The San Francisco city attorney sued two landlords Wednesday, claiming they illegally converted residential housing into short-term rentals that were advertised on Airbnb and similar services. The former residents, two of whom were disabled, were evicted using the Ellis Act, a controversial California law that allows landlords to reclaim properties for their own personal use.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times  Dennis Herrera, San Francisco City Attorney

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Dennis Herrera, San Francisco City Attorney

Ouch. While Airbnb states that this particular landlord has been banned from the using the site, it doesn't mean it won't happen again.

This isn't a new discussion, especially in San Francisco who is currently in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. "Housing advocates say the law is often abused by landlords seeking to cater to the lucrative tourist market".

Ride-sharing also continues to be a topic of constant scrutiny and platform Uber is currently under investigation by New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman for illegal price-gouging  (selling goods at higher than reasonable or fair prices). Schneiderman is also seeking information from Airbnb which ended in court (again) this last Tuesday. 

Check out the rest of the article from The New York Times Blog and let us know what you think. Are these setbacks only the beginning? How can a sharing economy services such as Uber and Airbnb prevent users from abusing services? And how should the law respond?

The 'Sharing' Hype - Do companies like Lyft and Airbnb help democratize the economy?

How can a movement that has been started by corporate and venture capital be any kind of socialism?

2013 marked significant growth in the new sharing economy, ride-sharing company Lyft saw a twenty fold increase in users and room-sharing platform Airbnb gained 6 million customers. Last year also exposed the legality issues of sharing services and has now intertwined the sharing economy with regulators. Currently, most legal focus is on ride-sharing (e.i. Lyft and Uber) and room-sharing (Airbnb). However the sharing economy has a directory of hundreds of different platforms that provide peer-peer sharing that have the potential to violate some sort of established regulation. The sharing economy has been referred to as an "ugly throwback to the dark days of socialism". The article by In These Times asks "Is the sharing economy in fact socialist, or in any way anti-capitalist?".

In these Times met with David Golumbia, assistant professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of The Cultural Logic of ComputationNeal Gorenflo, co-founder and publisher of Shareable Magazine, and the SolidarityNYC collective to discuss the sharing conundrum. Check out the full article here and let us know what you think. Does the sharing economy encourage an anti-capitalist economy? Or a socialist one?